Friday, 30 May 2014

Peter Black Clegg Loyalist or Plotter?

 After only a few days ago when Peter Black attacked  Nick Clegg after the party’s dismal Euro election night - describing him as a “major negative” on the doorsteps and saying voters don’t trust him.  Peter  seems now to be moved into expressing Loyalty

The Regional Assembly Member for South Wales West since 1999, compared the party’s pro-EU campaign message to a Monty Python sketch and said Mr Clegg’s performance in TV debates with Nigel Farage led to the party having “no credibility”.

It comes amid mounting pressure on Mr Clegg to stand down as leader after the disastrous elections, which saw the party lose hundreds of councillors in the local elections and suffer a wipeout of all-but-one of its 11 MEPs, as it slipped to sixth behind the Greens.

Writing in his Blog on May 27th , Mr Black said that while the debates being seen as a “masterstroke” at the time, Clegg was over-prepared and appeared “wooden and uneasy” and lacked spontaneity, leaving him open to attacks from Eurosceptic press.

“After this the Liberal Democrats poll ratings started to deteriorate and we had no credibility on doorsteps as a party who were standing up for people’s economic interests,”.
He added: “Clegg had taken on popularism with facts and cold logic. It was inevitable that this would fail, especially when the execution was so poor, and the party suffered as a result.”

But only a few days later  he seems keen to express his Loyalty to his beleaguered  leader

Lord Oakshott has done the Liberal Democrats more than one disservice. His cack-handed focus on displacing Nick Clegg as leader has led to furore in the media, but more importantly it has enabled those responsible for our lame and ineffective European campaign to regroup and close ranks around the leadership. The chances of having a proper debate about that campaign so as to bring about change have diminished as a result.

I went to a well-attended local party meeting last night, who unanimously agreed to back Nick Clegg as leader. I supported that position but we also agreed that there were problems with the campaign the party fought, that we need to debate what went wrong and that we need to get out and campaign as a party from the grassroots up.

I would expect the party leadership to be leading that internal debate, and indeed to be out and about in the country telling people what we have achieved in government and what we want to do in the next one. Instead all I can see is retrenchment behind the leader in the face of a bungled hostile take-over.
 It seems rather odd when someone  who describes his Party leader as a “major negative” on the doorsteps and saying voters don’t trust him.Now claims that there is no Leadership crisis.,

Peter makes a major attack on not only his Party's electoral campaign but how his leader preformed and then denies there's a crisis?

 Is it just me or has this the whiff of a failed coop attempt  where those who may have supported it if it seemed likely to succeed rush to voice their support for the leader when it becomes clear that it it has failed.

Of course the problem for the LibDems is that a change in leader  is unlikely to make much difference and indeed  split the party even more.

Even Vince Cable who was once one of the most popular MPs looks tarnished a nd if the polls are correct it would be hard to find a new leader who is guaranteed to hold his or hers seat.

So for now Peter seems to be back in the Clegg Loyalist camp, but whether  this is because he fully supports his leader or can see no other option seems unclear.

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